Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Perseids are coming in August

The best nights for this annual major meteor shower will be for August 11-13. The moon won't hinder the viewing but it is still best to find a dark sky site. However you might see meteors starting August 1 to the 20th.


(1) Eventhough it is considered one the best meteor shower (mostly because of the numbers and nice weather for viewing ) , don't expect meteors "to rain down over the sky." If you see 1 or 2 each minutes or every few minutes that is not bad

(2) It might be warm weather but it is best to get a lawn chair and even a blanket just in case to look upward and keep yourself comfortable Best to face NE towards constellation Perseus where the meteors seem to stream from.

(3) Use your eyes NOT binoculars (if you do you scan the skies you will miss meteors!).

(4) Meteors may be seen in any part of the sky. If they are Perseids, the "tail" will point back toward Perseus. If they are sporadics, not from this meteor shower, they may non shower oriented or part of other minor meteor showers in the sky at that time.

(5) Best time to see the meteors when the constellation Perseus (looks like a big letter K) rises higher out of the NE. Buy there is an exception (see #6)

(6) (in this url article read above) Earthgrazers are meteors that skim through the higher parts of the atmosphere and don't really plunge downward. They are usually very long, bright and spectacular. A couple of years ago I waited to see if I could observe them in August. Around 9:30 pm, a firecracker like yellow meteor called a fireball (brighter then -3 - like Venus currently) rose up from the East , glowing and almost like throwing off sparks. It traveled for 15 to 20 degrees and then evaportaed. I wrote about it in Sky & Telescope column.

Hope skies are clear for you all. ? let me know

1 comment:

jax said...

Hi, just wondering if you know of any SG groups planning a Perseid Meteor shower observation on 12th night/13th morning, would like to join them. thanks :)